Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mary Chung: Boston: Cambridge

I don't consider myself much of an expert when it comes to judging Chinese restaurants, but I think Mary Chung's is one of the better ones.  The menu is certainly more interesting and authentic-seeming than your standard bull shit Chinese take out places.

Shrimp Suan La Chow Show - $5.50

We started with these.  They were very spicy, just below the level at which they would've been too spicy to enjoy.  Better than those shrimp ones were the regular, meaty ones:

Suan La Chow Show - $4.50

These were just a touch less spicy, with a stronger meat presence than the shrimp had imparted to their Suan La Chow Show.   I love that you get all those wonderful bean sprouts with these appetizers, and you need them to mop up the heat.  Then we actually ordered a bean sprout dish as another appetizer:

Bean Sprouts with Dun Dun Spicy Sauce- $3.95

And these kicked the burning in our mouths right back up.  I would suggest getting only one spicy appetizer and then one milder one to balance out (and the menu divides the dishes into red (hot!) or black (mild) for you, in case you're not sure).

My roommate ordered boringly:
General Gau's Chicken - $9.95

It was pretty spicy, not too sweet, and had too many fat chunks.  It wasn't bad, but it was a little disappointing.

I really wanted to try the Shanghai Lion Head Meatball because, well, of the name.  But since I was sure that it couldn't really be lion's heads they were using, I went with the real foodie asshole choice, and got the entree on the menu called "Mysterious Flavored Chicken."  What choice did I have, really?

"Who could resist the call of the mystery box?" - Mysterious Flavored Chicken - $8.50

It turned out to be chicken with mushrooms, baby corn, and a flavor that tasted the way small, seedy Asian markets smell. I think it might've just been a shit load of fish sauce, but then I think that would've tasted better.  Maybe I should've gone with the Hung Shao Pig Feet (for only $6.50!).


Foodie Asshole Menu Wishlist:

-Chive Flower Buds with Eggs (it was a daily special appetizer, so they might not always have it)
-Yang Chow Minced Chicken - $9.95 ("Marinated beast [sic] of chicken cooked with vegetables topped and cellophane noodles, served with lettuce and four pancakes")
-Sesame Lemon Chicken - $9.50 ("Crushed water chestnuts stuffed between layers of lightly battered and fried chicken breasts, served on a bed of lettuce with sliced lemon")
-Hot Stuffed Eggplant - $8.50 ("Slices of eggplant stuffed with ground meat (pork) and cook [sic] a spicy hot sauce")
-Shredder Pork with Szechuan Pickles - $8.50
-Bitter Melon with Saltv [sic] Eggs - $8.95 (vegetarian)

They also have $6 lunch specials (nothing interesting available though), Chinese Dum Sum Brunches on Saturdays and Sundays between 11:30 and 3:00, and they serve beer and wine.


All in all, some of the food was disappointing, but there was promise, especially in the Suan La Chow Show, and there are a number of things I'd like to try here.  I'd be happy if life brought me back to Mary Chung's at least one more time.
Mary Chung on Urbanspoon

And now for more spiritual enlightenment: